I have a friend who cares deeply about time. She has a need to know what the official U.S. atomic clock in Boulder, Colo., says the time is. Call it a blessing or a burden, she is punctual, and expects punctuality from others. She is the only person I am always on time for, to the minute.
Twelve years ago, a dear friend gave her a Rolex watch, and just two weeks ago it went missing. For you and me, that’s a sad thing; for my friend it is a crisis. As her mother passed away a year ago and left a wristwatch among her artifacts, she tried to use that one, but it was too tight.
Two days ago, my friend and her husband were going through boxes of her mother’s belongings, and at the bottom of one box was a beautiful gold watch. My friend says it tells perfect time—which is a standard I am sure she is much more exacting of than I am. She was sporting the timepiece when she came to my house this morning for our prayer meeting, and was eager to share the testimony.
One man’s testimony is another man’s coincidence or good luck. But the people of God are careful to give glory where glory is due. Our God is the God who tells us, “I know all the birds of the hills.” (I think we ought to take that as literal and not a beautiful metaphor: He actually knows them.) Our God is the God who says, “Not a hair of your head will perish.” Our God pays careful attention to the way He dresses a lily.
When Hagar, not even a Jew but an Egyptian in a cameo role in Jewish history, was banished from the presence of Abraham and Sarah, and must have felt for all the world like no one could see her plight, the Lord appeared to her and she proclaimed the loftiest name she could think of at that moment: “You are a God of seeing.”
God saw my friend in her private distress over the watch. And He who knows the birds individually knew her deep desire for right time at all times. And so just as He arranged for Peter to find a coin in a fish’s mouth to pay the taxman, it was nothing at all for Him to arrange for my friend to find a perfect watch at the bottom of a box within two weeks of the loss of her Rolex.